news 2012



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Life Sciences - Health - 24.12.2012
Lethal weapon: bacteria’s high-risk suicide strategy
Lethal weapon: bacteria’s high-risk suicide strategy
" Research published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that some bacterial cells carry a molecular 'suicide complex' to kill themselves in the event of lethal infection by viral parasites. Such 'altruistic suicide' prevents or limits viral replication and protects the rest of the bacterial population from subsequent infection.

Health - Life Sciences - 24.12.2012
Rare genetic faults identified in families with bowel cancer
Rare DNA faults in two genes have been strongly linked to bowel cancer by Oxford University researchers, who sequenced the genomes of people from families with a strong history of developing the disease. The researchers sequenced the entire DNA genomes of 20 people from families with a strong history of bowel cancer.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.12.2012
Study turns parasite invasion theory on its head
Current thinking on how the Toxoplasma gondii parasite invades its host is incorrect, according to a study published today describing a new technique to knock out genes. The findings could have implications for other parasites from the same family, including malaria, and suggest that drugs that are currently being developed to block this invasion pathway may be unsuccessful.

Health - 23.12.2012
Understanding cell organisation to tackle cancer
Understanding cell organisation to tackle cancer
23 Dec 2012 Charles Streuli and Nasreen Akhtar of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research have conducted new research that leads to a better understanding of cell polarity. Properly organised tissues are vital to maintaining functional organs and a healthy body. Part of being organised includes cells being in the correct position within the tissue and the right way up, because the top and bottom of cells have different functions.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2012
Association funded researchers identify quadruplex structure in C9ORF72
Association funded researchers identify quadruplex structure in C9ORF72
A Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association funded research project at UCL has given new insights into the structure and function of an MND gene called C9ORF72. The work is published in the journal Scientific Reports . Pietro Fratta (UCL Institute of Neurology) is first author of the paper which successfully identifies the structure of the six-letter genetic mistake in C9ORF72.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.12.2012
World-leading cancer expert to head-up Cambridge Institute
I am delighted that Tavaré will be leading the Cambridge Institute. One of my main aims in Cambridge is to cross-fertilise different disciplines and Simon's work applying mathematical approaches to understanding cancer is a fantastic example of how powerful this can be." —Patrick Maxwell, Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge The University of Cambridge and Cancer Research UK have appointed Simon Tavaré to be the next director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2012
Genetic differences may influence sensitivity to pain
A team of scientists led by King's College London has identified a particular set of genes that interact with one another to regulate pain in humans, and found that differences in these genes may influence people's sensitivity to pain. The study, published today in PLoS Genetics , adds to a growing body of evidence that particular genes are involved in chronic pain and highlights this pathway as a potential target for more effective pain relief treatments for patients.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2012
Brain imaging insight into cannabis as a pain killer
Brain imaging insight into cannabis as a pain killer
The pain relief offered by cannabis varies greatly between individuals, a brain imaging study carried out at the University of Oxford suggests. The researchers found that an oral tablet of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, tended to make the experience of pain more bearable, rather than actually reduce the intensity of the pain.

Health - 20.12.2012
Health Survey for England reveals a nation in pain
Health Survey for England reveals a nation in pain
Today's Health Survey for England reveals more than 14 million sufferers of chronic pain - pain which has lasted for more than three months. The study found that pain is more common among some groups than others, pain incurs significant costs and has serious mental health and wellbeing implications.

Pedagogy - Health - 20.12.2012
Occasional family meals boost kids’ fruit and veg intake
Eating meals together as a family, even if only twice a week, boosts children's daily fruit and vegetable intake to near the recommended 5 A Day, according to researchers at the University of Leeds. It is published today in the British Medical Journal’s Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health .

Life Sciences - Health - 19.12.2012
How the common fruit fly is helping scientists to study alcohol-related disorders
How the common fruit fly is helping scientists to study alcohol-related disorders
Scientists have shown how the common fruit fly Drosophila, which possess similar electrophysiological and pharmacological properties as humans, could now be used to screen and develop new therapies for alcohol-related behavioural disorders and some genetic diseases. Researchers from the University's School of Physiology and Pharmacology have been using the fruit fly to study the effects of alcohol on a particular gene found within potassium channels in the brain.

Health - 19.12.2012
Better approach to treating deadly melanoma identified by scientists
19 Dec 2012 Researchers funded by Cancer Research UK have been looking at why new drugs called "MEK inhibitors”, which are currently being tested in clinical trials, aren't as effective at killing cancer cells as they should be. They discovered that MITF - a protein that helps cells to produce pigment but also helps melanoma cells to grow and survive - is able to provide cancer cells with a resistance to MEK inhibitors.

Health - Economics - 19.12.2012
The drugs don’t work
The drugs don’t work
Health Technology Assessment is not 'pure science'. The drug industry is a key actor in the process of issuing recommendations" —Professor Larry King King and colleagues Piotr Ozieranski (University of Leicester) and Martin McKee (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) found that multinational drug companies are deploying their massive financial resources to capture stakeholders at every stage of the process for the scientific recommendation of drugs in Poland.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.12.2012
'DNA sensor' sounds the alarm when viruses invade
’DNA sensor’ sounds the alarm when viruses invade
By Eliot Barford Researchers at Imperial College London have identified a molecule that sounds the alarm when viruses invade our cells. Our immune system has evolved to recognise distinctive features of infectious agents like bacteria, fungi and viruses in order to fight infections, but some viruses are hard to detect.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.12.2012
Silent stroke can cause Parkinson's disease
Silent stroke can cause Parkinson’s disease
18 Dec 2012 Whilst conditions such as a severe stroke have been linked to the disease, for many sufferers the tremors and other symptoms of Parkinson's disease can appear to come out of the blue. Researchers at the university's Faculty of Life Sciences have now discovered that a small stroke, also known as a silent stroke, can cause Parkinson's disease.

Health - 14.12.2012
Schizophrenia linked to social inequality
Schizophrenia linked to social inequality
Our data seems to suggest that both absolute and relative levels of deprivation predict the incidence of schizophrenia." —James Kirkbride Higher rates of schizophrenia in urban areas can be attributed to increased deprivation, increased population density and an increase in inequality within a neighbourhood, new research reveals.

Health - Life Sciences - 14.12.2012
More than two hundred genes identified for Crohn's Disease
More than two hundred genes identified for Crohn’s Disease
More than two hundred gene locations have now been identified for the chronic bowel condition Crohn's Disease, in a study that analysed the entire human genome. Published today in The American Journal of Human Genetics , scientists at UCL have devised a new method for identifying and mapping gene locations for complex inherited diseases.

Health - Environment - 12.12.2012
The slower you grow, the longer you live: growth rate influences lifespan
New research from the University of Glasgow suggests that lifespan is affected by the rate at which bodies grow early in life. A paper published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B outlines how manipulating growth rates in stickleback fish can extend their lifespan by nearly a third or reduce it by 15 percent.

Life Sciences - Health - 11.12.2012
Faulty gene linked to condition in infants
Researchers at King's College London have for the first time identified a defective gene at the root of Vici syndrome, a rare inherited disorder which affects infants from birth, leading to impaired development of the brain, eyes and skin, and progressive failure of the heart, skeletal muscles and the immune system.

Health - 07.12.2012
Sleeping pills can increase the risk of pneumonia
PA 361/12 There has been a call for more research into the effects of a class of commonly used sleeping pills after researchers at The University of Nottingham found that patients taking benzodiazepines were at an increased risk of contracting and dying from pneumonia.
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